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Data Analytics

Accelerate data-driven growth with Google Cloud and Fivetran

December 5, 2023
Nancy Goyal

Strategic Cloud Engineer, Google

Kelly Kohlleffel

Senior Global Director-Partner Sales Engineering, Fivetran

Key strategies for harnessing the power of Unified data

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Success is often measured by one's ability to harness and interpret data effectively. The journey begins with centralizing and analyzing marketing data in real time, a game-changing approach that can drive impactful decisions and elevate campaign strategies.

In this blog post, we'll explore how Google Cloud and Fivetran, a SaaS data integration platform, can help you centralize and analyze your marketing data in real time. Fivetran can take care of multiple steps in the ELT and automated data ingestion journey. We'll share real-world examples of how organizations are using real-time analytics to improve their results, and we'll discuss the benefits of this approach for businesses of all sizes.

Centralizing data is the first step to informed decisions

A large healthcare organization recognized the transformative power of data and analytics, and embarked on a mission to harness their expertise and insights to fuel exponential growth and success. Their challenge was despite their successful marketing strategies that increased demand generation, concerns arose due to rising budgetary expenses and reductions in campaign spending. The marketing team encountered difficulties in accurately measuring campaign performance and efficiency, identifying the specific initiatives responsible for marketing outcomes, and procuring timely insights from their agency for informed decision-making.

The marketing team recognized that the challenge was with the data scattered across various applications, databases, and file systems. This fragmentation and lack of centralization of marketing data hindered their ability to analyze and optimize campaign performance, track and optimize spending across different channels, and accurately measure healthcare enrollment attribution and conversion rates. Consequently, optimizing advertising expenditures and acquiring holistic performance metrics remained unattainable.

The lack of a centralized data repository became acutely apparent when they were asked a question: 'What's working well?' Their response, 'nothing,' underscored the critical need for a unified data strategy. This realization marked a turning point, igniting a journey towards data-driven marketing excellence."

The team's aspiration was clear to create a data-driven decision-making process that would seamlessly integrate with their datasets and deliver measurable benefits. Key considerations to maximize data value included data usage patterns, data sources from both external and internal sources, primary workloads, data platforms, and enrichment and transformation requirements.

To resolve their data quandary, this forward-thinking company turned to Google Cloud and Fivetran, whose partnership provided a swift and effective means to eliminate data silos and centralize their marketing data. This harmonious integration unlocked a wealth of possibilities, depicted in the diagram below:

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Fivetran’s automated data movement platform supports a wide range of marketing analytics data sources with out-of-the-box, no-code, self-serve connectors. These connectors include social media and ad platforms, email, marketing analytics platforms, CRM solutions, and various databases and object stores.

The integration with Google BigQuery and other Google Ads services seamlessly provided end-to-end automation and reliability, complete with customizable sync schedules, normalized schemas for organized and understandable data, and even pre-built data models tailored for marketing data sources. This approach empowers the marketing team to swiftly act on crucial metrics like click-through rates, ad spend efficiency, and more while enhancing performance and efficiency.

Centralizing their data enhances efficiency, allowing the team to prioritize strategic planning, campaign optimization, and improving customer engagement. By making data accessible and organized, the CMO and the marketing team can focus on delivering even better service and engagement to their audience.

If you’d like to dig deeper into how Fivetran and Google Cloud are working together to enhance marketing analytics, check out our “Unlocking the Power of Marketing Analytics with Fivetran and Google Cloud” on-demand hands-on lab.

Real-time (or continuous) analytics with Fivetran and BigQuery

When faced with the challenge of "real-time analytics," the initial response often triggers a fundamental question: What exactly defines "real-time"? Does it mean millisecond-level latency, subsecond response times, seconds, minutes, hours, or even daily updates? The answers can vary widely based on the specific use case and the perspective of those asked.

Traditionally, analytics platforms don't dive into millisecond-level operational surveillance of individual events or sensor data — that's the realm of highly specialized hardware and software designed for specific physical domains where data is generated, typically found in operational technology environments.

When discussing common analytics workloads like cloud data warehousing, data lakes, data applications, data engineering, AI/ML, and more, the term "real-time" can be somewhat misleading. Instead, a more precise description for what Google Cloud and Fivetran offer in analytics workloads is "continuous" data processing, aligning more closely with the reality of data flow and insights.

By focusing on specific use cases and desired outcomes, the importance of continuous data movement at intervals ranging from one minute to 24 hours becomes evident. It's crucial to align this requirement with business justification, weighing the cost and effort against the value and necessity.

Frequently, scenarios arise where continuous replication and change data capture are essential, especially when dealing with significant incremental changes to data sources, often measuring in tens or hundreds of gigabytes per hour.

For example, let’s consider the case of a typical SAP ERP customer, such as a global logistics company. They operate a substantial SAP S/4HANA environment, generating a significant volume of transactions, resulting in high change data volumes exceeding 100 gigabytes per hour due to updates, inserts, and deletes. Fivetran continuously replicates this S/4HANA data to Google Cloud BigQuery, integrating it with other datasets Fivetran ingests, including operational databases and their enterprise customer management system. The aim is to provide a comprehensive global view of supply chain effectiveness and operational efficiency, supporting continuous decision-making throughout the day.

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The term "real-time" can vary among organizations and use cases. However, in the realm of analytics, continuous data movement proves to be a reliable method for attaining desired results. Leveraging Fivetran to consistently replicate SAP data into Google Cloud BigQuery enables organizations to gain a comprehensive perspective of their operations and make faster, more insightful decisions.

Next steps

Our customers are transforming their businesses by integrating their applications with Google Cloud and Fivetran offerings, such as Oakbrook Financial. Our goal is to make this journey easier for our customers and help them to grow their data analytics business on Google cloud. With Google Cloud's holistic cloud migration and modernization program, Google Cloud RaMP, you can easily gain insight into your current landscape and estimate the total cost of migration. You can learn more about how Google Cloud can help accelerate your data modernization journey, visit our page here. To know more about using Fivetran to unlock business intelligence in BigQuery. review the documentation available here or visit the Fivetran resources page.

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